SHOEBOXES have been flooding into the Echo after overwhelming support from readers. The Echo’s Treats for Troops campaign has joined forces with Councillor Molly Rennie’s Dorchester Comfort Box Appeal in order to send as many morale boosting gifts to Afghanistan as possible.

By working together we can try to ensure that hundreds of parcels are sent to named Dorset soldiers, seaman and air crew serving on the frontline. To make it easier to donate, the Echo has distributed collection bins around Dorchester and Weymouth so members of the public can drop off their items.

Coun Rennie said: “I am just so pleased that the Echo has been able to support these boxes to go out to our troops.

“The more publicity about the boxes the better because it draws in the whole community to help.

“It’s just amazing how many boxes there are which will go to serving personnel who will be very grateful in Afghanistan.

“The items that have been donated so far are great and I’ve heard back from the soldiers that they really enjoy funny gifts such as tennis balls and water bombs that provide a welcome break to a week on patrol in Afghanistan.”

Grandma Beryl Oldrid said the campaign was a fantastic way to show the troops that were serving alongside her grandson Simon in Afghanistan how much people at home care.

She said: “I think it’s marvellous and I think it’s amazing the things that people are donating.

“I am disabled and a pensioner so my money doesn’t stretch too far but it’s worth every penny to send out something they need.

“I know they appreciate everything they get and I hope the community keeps on donating.”

If you want to pack a shoebox it only takes minutes to fill it with items that make a range difference and add some variety to service mean and women living off of rations in the Middle East.

The first parcels are due to be packaged and sent to Afghanistan in the next few weeks. If you can join in and help us pack the boxes please get in touch with Miriam Phillips on 01305 830985.

Do you know anyone who is serving in Afghanistan or Iraq and would like a shoebox? If so contact Miriam Phillips on 01305 830985 or

How you can help

What to put in: Biscuits, wet wipes, fruity chewy sweets, used or new books, puzzle and crossword books, make-up products, chewing gum and mints, letters, travel games, packs of playing cards, pots of long life fruit in jelly, lip salve, underwear, coffee and capachino sachets, moisturising lotion, magazines, custard and rice pudding, long-life food, small packets of dried fruit, dried nuts, marshmallows (also used for padding), Calypso juices, variety cereal packs, foot gel or powder.

What not to put in: Chocolate, aerosols, alcohol, perfumed soap, anything that will melt, heavy items, batteries.

Collection bin locations

Weymouth: Dorset Echo headquarters, Granby Industrial Estate; Superdrug, New Bond Street; Asda, Newstead Road, Morrisons, Dorchester Road; WH Smith, St Mary Street; Boots, St. Mary Street; Value House, Wyke Regis; Wilkinsons, Westham Road; Rieker Shoes, St Thomas Street; Littlemoor Hardware; Tesco Express.

Dorchester: Dorset Echo, Antelope Walk; Dorset County Council, Collition Park; Superdrug, South Street; Wellworths, South Street; Tesco, Weymouth Avenue; WH Smiths, South Street; SCATS Countrystore; Mousetrap.

Bridport: Bridport News office, East Street.

Portland: Codfathers Fish & Chips; Hairstudio; George Inn.